Cooking Chronicles No. 2 Steakhouse Favorites at Sur La Table
– Rick Florino
Steak is not the hardest thing in the world to cook. Even most guys with little more than microwave-savvy can cook a steak! However, cooking it tastefully is an entirely different story. There are numerous ways to ruin a steak. You can overcook it and completely obliterate the flavor. Or you can end up moving it around too much and dehydrating it. Or you can season it wrong and get some strange concoction that’s hardly edible but quite allergy inducing. That said; it’s very easy to mess up.
However, once again Sur La Table comes to the rescue. In the latest installment of LAX Magazine’s “Cooking Chronicles,” we attended master chef Christian Rinaldi’s “Steakhouse Favorites” class at Sur La Table’s fantastic location at The Grove — the only place you need to take cooking classes, ever. Not only did Christian show us how to correctly sauté and cook “Steak Au Poivre,” he also kept us laughing.
Beginning the class, he exclaimed, “Steak is easy! Cavemen just used fire and animals!” Luckily, we didn’t have to kill anything in this class — as always Sur La Table had all of the ingredients prepared, so the focus of the class was the fun part. Christian dispelled numerous steak myths first. First, as he put it, “The wafer-cut is good for nothing.” Be sure to purchase meat that’s actually got some weight to it. Secondly, “Never move the meat around.” Thirdly, “Never press down on the meat.” Both of those adhere to the same principle — the steak needs to maintain its moisture
The Steak Au Poivre turned out heavenly. We crushed up peppercorns and created a breaded crust on the cut meat before putting it on the pan. Then we added some kosher salt. The pan was coated with olive oil. The steak cooked up pretty quickly, and we made the sauce, a combination of cognac and heavy cream, separately. The final combination of sauce and steak proved divine, especially accompanied by salad with homemade blue cheese dressing and some delectable mashed potatoes. It was all capped off by cherries jubilee and ice cream.
No caveman ever had it this good!